Craig A. Cordola, 45, a longtime health care executive, will become Ministry Market Executive for Ascension Texas, which is the corporate parent of Providence Healthcare Network in Waco and Seton Healthcare Family in Austin, Ascension announced in a press release Tuesday.
Cordola will also become senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare, effective Sept. 1. Cordola was chosen after a nationwide search to replace Jesus Garza as Ministry Market Executive, according to the press release.
Cordola is senior vice president of Memorial Hermann Health System, based in Houston, and president of its western region. Memorial Hermann has 19 hospitals, 25,000 employees and 5,500 affiliated doctors.
Cordola also oversees Memorial Hermann’s relationship with McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston.
“I’m looking forward to moving back to Austin and working with the leadership team, physicians and other providers, associates and volunteers across Ascension Texas and the entire ministry,” Cordola said in the press release.
He could not be reached for additional comment.
“Craig is an exceptional choice to lead Ascension Texas, which serves a rapidly growing region where the needs of those we serve continue to expand,” Ascension Healthcare President and CEO Patricia A. Maryland wrote in the press release.
She wrote that Ascension’s decision to open Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas at Austin reflects its commitment to Central Texas.
Before his current role, Cordola served as CEO of the Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center campus. Earlier in his career, he worked as CEO of Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and as its assistant vice president of operations, according to the press release.
Before joining Memorial Hermann, he worked at Texas Children’s Hospital, the primary pediatric teaching facility for Baylor College of Medicine, and at physician practice management companies in Houston.
Cordola wrote a guest column for Texas CEO magazine in 2014 in which he discussed how Memorial Hermann Health System tackled the problem of patient readmissions. He said it became obvious that costly returns to the hospital were due, in part, to patients or family members not understanding instructions upon leaving the facility.
He said Memorial Hermann began using case managers and social workers to accompany physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dietitians and therapists on their visits with patients. The hospital also began a program called Virtual Care Check in which patients were issued small, tablet-sized computers, weight scales, pulse oximeters and blood pressure devices. Patients would track their vital signs daily and log on to complete a health survey.
Cordola graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin, where he received a degree in psychology. He later attended the University of Houston-Clear Lake, where he earned dual degrees with a master’s in health care administration and a master’s in business administration.
He and his wife, Allison, have two children, Benjamin, 15, and Emma, 14.
In Texas, Ascension operates Providence Healthcare Network and Seton Healthcare Family, which includes Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas and 120 related clinical facilities that employ 13,000 people.
St. Louis-based Ascension operates 2,500 sites of care nationally, including 141 hospitals and more than 30 senior living facilities. It reported revenue of $21.9 billion during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2016, according to Modern Healthcare, and enjoyed a $753 million operating surplus.
Last year it acquired Crittenton Hospital Medical Center in Rochester, Michigan, and Wheaton Franciscan Healthcare in Glendale, Wisconsin. Those acquisitions added $611 million in revenue, according to Modern Healthcare.